IntelliGENT Insights

Defining Open Protocol
Added 20/03/2018
The level of noise in the fire industry about “open protocol” is increasing - particularly from consultants, specifiers or end users who insist that their system has to be “open”.

Unfortunately there is a lot of misunderstanding and blatant misinformation flying around. Strictly speaking, open protocol systems do not exist in our industry. If they did, users would be able to mix and match detectors from different manufacturers on a loop or mix panels from different manufacturers on a single network. In practice, all loop and network protocols are specific to a particular manufacturer.

But I don’t think that’s what people really care about. What matters is that people have choice; choice in where to buy the system, and choice in who will commission and maintain it. They do not want to be over a barrel and locked into a single provider for the lifetime of their system.

Bearing in mind the importance of choice to customers, Gent fire systems are often wrongly described as “closed protocol”. While it is true that all of the devices and panels only work together with other Gent products, these products, along with the commissioning, maintenance and support are available from any one of our 70 Approved System Integrators.

Maybe I am a bit biased, but I believe this gives the best of both worlds. By choosing Gent, customers get the benefit of a fire system that has been designed as a system with every component optimised to work together. And they can get their system from a wide choice of Gent Approved System Integrators who have all been trained by our expert teams at our manufacturing site.

During the life of their system, customers always have the choice of changing who provides their maintenance and support and because of this, our System Integrators focus on keeping customers by offering outstanding service and value.